Is toxicity the root issue of Candida? Does treating Candida make a toxic condition worse? Will killing off Candida only strengthen the “real” problem?
These are very valid questions. Sometimes during “die-off,” it may seem that you are getting worse instead of better! And yes, a buildup of toxins or heavy metals is ONE of the causes of fungal overgrowth in the body. (For more on that please read our blog post on the causes of Candida)
Heavy metal or toxic load can encourage Candida, so we want to help you to address it. Here’s how it works and what you can do!
Our liver, kidneys and skin are all organs of detoxification; and under normal circumstances, our body takes care of filtering out any substances that we can’t use or that are harmful to us. (Technically, by the way, a “toxin” is a plant substance or poison. It is the dose that becomes the toxin – small amounts of these substances can actually act as medicines. Too much – or more than our bodies can process, become “toxins”.)
However, when those detox organs are underperforming because of other weaknesses (liver or kidney disease, autoimmune disorders, long or chronic illnesses, chemotherapy) OR when we have been exposed to an unusually high “load,” our body defends itself in other ways, including by encouraging fungus overgrowth.
Fungus can function as a defense against heavy metals by encapsulating them and other toxins. Various forms of fungus are actually used to capture heavy metals in wastewater and to remediate oil spills!
In our bodies, this sometimes “helpful” fungus we call Candida brings its own issues, including messing up our microbiome (the normal bacteria-yeast-fungus balance in our gut) and even by disrupting hormones, which throws off our endocrine systems.
When the Candida is treated and dies off, however, some of these toxins will be released into the body to be disposed of. That is why we encourage people to take the “slow and steady” approach to treating Candida, and why we encourage pregnant women and nursing moms to wait until they have given birth and weaned their babies to treat their Candida.
How Might I Have Been Exposed to Heavy Metals or Toxins?
Here are a few key ways that you can get unhealthy exposure to these toxins:
- You have worked at a job that used industrial metals, for instance, a plating plant.
- You eat lots of tuna and other large fish (mercury).
- You have many amalgam dental fillings (also called “silver” fillings, but they are really mercury).
- You live on a farm, grew up on a farm, or live near a farm and have a well as your water source (arsenic).
- Large amounts of lead, mercury, arsenic, or cadmium have been found in my municipal water supply.
How Can I Get Rid of Heavy Metals?
- Have amalgam fillings replaced (find a holistic dentist who knows how to do this; there is a protocol that will protect you as the fillings are removed).
- There are several methods of “chelation” or using a substance that will bond to the metals and carry them out. We recommend working with a natural health practitioner to suggest dosages and monitor your progress.
Where can I find food or plant-based chelators?
Food-based chelators include:
- Cilantro, either the plant itself or available in capsule and tincture form
- Chlorella and spirulina, both fresh-water algae (spirulina is particularly protective against arsenic)
- Sea buckthorn berry (removes mycotoxins from fungal die-off)
If your exposure and your toxic load is severe, you may even need intravenous chelation therapy. This is offered at hospitals for severe lead poisoning. Also some functional medicine doctors offer this type of therapy for lower levels of heavy metal loads. (Note: this can be expensive and is not usually covered by insurance.)
What are other steps to rid your body of these toxins?
- Take detoxifying salts baths
- Drink plenty of fresh, clean water, and/or herbal teas
- Keep your body as alkaline as possible by cutting down on red meat, grains, dairy and sweets and eating more vegetables
- Get regular moderate exercise
- Get plenty of sleep (7-9 hours) each night
Every step you can take to support your recovery from Candida is important and this is another one: Working to lighten your toxic loads while treating your Candida with ThreeLac™ and Candizolv™ can speed up your recovery and your return to better health! We are here to help.